Originally Posted by Therapy
Your'e kidding me!
I throw banana peels on some of my plants as food
They are gone in a few weeks.
But then I am in Florida
Few people realize that the banana was the product of early radiation experiments in the South Pacific
in the late 1940's. These experiments were conducted on the Bikini Atoll, later the site for a hydrogen bomb explosion, and were conducted under the auspices of the Bikini Atoll Native Plantain Mutation Assignment, BANPAMA, in an effort to produce an edible fruit for the army, that would not decay or degrade with age. The Plantain was selected since it has a tough outer cover that provides protection for the fruit; unfortunately, it is not very palatable when raw. The BANPAMA project
was not particularly successful, as the resulting fruits were found to bruise easily. However, they were still fed to unsuspecting natives and servicemen, where they became quite a hit. Introduced to the U.S. as "Banamas" in 1951, by former military scientists who saw there was more money
in agriculture than in early attempts at genetic engineering, they immediately became something of a rage. By 1958, "Bananas", as they were known by then, were grown throughout central and south america
to feed the hungry U.S. market.
This would be a happy story of a great new food
, if it weren't for the sinister secret that was brought to light in 1978 in early studies of "Garbology" (the study of garbage) by scientists from the University of Arizona: the military's original project
was not a complete failure after all---although the fruit of the banana was quite vulnerable, the peel contained enzymes that render it impervious to virtually all biological action. In short, every banana peel ever grown until that time was still in existence. This discovery by Arizona scientists led to a series of startling and bizarre revelations, including the fact that since the late 1950's the U.S. military, in a surprisingly successful attempt to cover up their introduction
of this non-degradable peel, had a veritable army of specially trained Banana Peel Retrieval Specialists arrayed across the country. Using infrared satellite images
to locate suburban compost piles, these commandoes would strike in the dark of night, removing banana peels and replacing them with degradable facsimilies made from wheat, soy, marigold petals, and corn silks. Army experiments to train racoons and possums to do the retrieval were fairly successful, and these methods replaced the manual retrieval method over much of the country by the early 1970's.
The 1978 revelation, and the accompanying outcry, led to a crashprogram by the Department of Agriculture to develop a "Green"banana. By 1981 the program was deemed a success, having produced a banana that degraded slowly but completely, and then-President Ronald Reagan was able to unveil the new banana to coincide with a meeting with heads of state from several Central American countries. Reagan's comment that "I love these things, and I consider myself a Banana Republican", was considered in poor taste and hushed up by the then-malleable press.
So, the answer is: yes & no, for the past 13 years banana peels have been biodegradable. Banana peels from before 1981 are not degradable, and most of them are still in existence, buried in huge dumps at Hanford, WA and Oak Ridge, TN. Pilot incineration programs have been launched, and if all goes well the non-degradable banana peels will have been disposed of by the year 2015.